Originally written on Tennis Panorama  |  Last updated 11/17/14


FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Something had to give. Both No. 1 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and No. 3 Maria Sharapova had been perfect throughout the year in three-set matches.

Azarenka was down a set and a break and gutted out (or others would say grunted out) a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory on Friday to reach her first US Open final in two hours and 42 minutes.

“I felt like towards the end of the first I was kind of getting a little bit better,” said Azarenka. “Trying to find the momentum and getting more and more comfortable in the match.  So even though I lost the first set I felt like it was close.  I had a few opportunities; I missed them.  But once it finished, I kind of thought that, you know, I had to turn it around and start from zero like it’s a new match.”

“Well, it’s frustrating, but it’s the game of tennis, “Sharapova said of her loss.  “A lot of swings in the match today.  You know, certainly had the lead and the advantage.  She picked up her game.  You know, in the third I think a lot of it had to do with the returns.  I didn’t do much on her service games.  You know, she was winning them pretty easy.  You know, on mine they were quite long and just making too many errors not putting any pressure on her.  So that’s, I think, the most frustrating part.”

So what was the difference in the match for the world No. 1? “I think I served much better,” Said the Belarusian.

“It was more commitment from me.  You know, I felt like I was creating, you know, those opportunities starting from my serve, which probably wasn’t really the case at the beginning.  You know, I was just trying to place it well, not really going with the serve, with a plan on what I’m going to do next.  So I think that was a big change from my side on my serve.”

Azarenka will face Serena Williams for the title on Saturday night. She is 1-9 against the American.

“I’ve got to do something different, to be honest,” Azarenka said.

When asked about whether or not she will watch video of their preivius matches, Azarenka said: “Well, I don’t want to be depressed.  (Laughter.)  I mean, there is not really something that you can look at.  But, no, I mean, it’s just I’m going to have the same game plan with my coach as we did today and the days before.  I’m not really big fan of watching and scouting.  I like to watch tennis when it’s live.  I do enjoy that.  But to look back, no.”

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